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Air Conditioning '60 Lark VI

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  • Air Conditioning '60 Lark VI

    I have a factory compressor and an under dash unit from a Studebaker that my Dad had bought about 5 years ago. I'm making my '60 Lark VI a daily driver and was thinking about adding it but I can't remember seeing a flat head six with A/C. Do they exist so I can get the necessary brackets I need to mount the compressor or would the brackets from a later OHV six work??

    John Reich
    Long Island Chapter Spotlight Editor & Webmaster
    John Reich

    1955 Studebaker President
    1960 Studebaker Lark (For Sale)
    1962 Studebaker GT Hawk

  • #2
    I think the 6 cylinder models used a York A-206 six cubic inch compressor whereas the V8's used an A-209 nine cubic inch compressor. On the name plate of the compressor will be an ID # DA206 or DA209 unless it's a Tecumseh, they're cast iron instead of aluminum. An 850 Tecumseh would be 8.5 ci. The two brands are very similiar to each other.

    A lot of those compressors have a 6 inch pulley which I know is close to the size of the crankshaft pulley V8s, not sure about the 6's diameter at this time, so the compressor will be running near engine speed. If you have a 4.1 axle and overdrive, a 6ci compressor will draw approximately 1.7 hp at 60 mph and produce around 11,000 Btu's. A 9ci model will pull 2.85hp and produce 17,500 Btu at the same speed. If you have a 3.73 axle and no OD, you're looking at 2.3 hp and 13,800 and 3.8 hp and 21,250 Btu respectively. I don't really know which way to suggest you go, the small compressor may have a tough time keeping things cool in very hot weather and when you're slogging around town, but wouldn't soak up power like the bigger one. On the open road it would probably do ok. The bigger one might be the way to go since they're much more common and would help keep things cool at lower engine speeds. Either way, you'll definately know when they kick on.

    The evaporator you use (the cooling part inside the car) will have an impact on how well it cools. Old systems that were built for Freon R-12 can't produce as much cooling with the C-134A refrigerant. R-12 is really hard to find anymore. If you can get an old evaporator that was for big cars like Caddies and Lincolns, it would probably do fine with C-134A. On my '51 I plan on installing an electric fan to help keep both the engine and interior cool at low engine speeds. Not enough fan at low speeds and the air conditioner doesn't cool, that's why later autos used a fan clutch. Lots of fan at low speeds but it cut loose at high rpms to save horsepower. Using an electric fan and removing the fan blade would help offset the hp use by the compressor and at higher speeds would probably be pretty much an even trade. Hope this helps.


    • #3
      You might also contact Denny at SASCO, to see if they still have any of the kits for dealer installed 6 cyl. AC on late but pre 1965 Larks. I can't remember what all is included, but two of the pieces are a multi(5 or 6)blade fan, and a sheet metal fan shroud. Both handi items.


      • #4
        Skyway's mention of a 5 or 6 bladed fan blade pretty well confirms what I said about needing plenty of air movement. The replacement fan blade is going to soak up horsepower that you can're really spare. A flexible fan blade would help, but they still use horsepower. I'd sure gowith an electric fan and if clearance is a problem, you can always mount it in front of the radiator rather than behind like most applications. I believe that would be much easier than installing a fan shroud along with everything else. One fault with the York type compressors is they need a wider belt to help limit slipping at low engine speeds when the weather's hot and the load is the greatest. The Lark fan belt and pulleys is rather narrow. A radial type compressor spreads the load out more evenly and reduces the opportunity for belt slip.

        I'm going to use a 6 cylinder Fridgedaire compressor on the '51, the pully width is just right. I plan on mounting it where the generator is now and mount an alternator in another place. Those compressors were used on older GM products and larger Ford cars. They use a flange type fitting to connect the hoses to the compressor, but fittings are (or at least were) available to convert it to a barbed type fitting. The only down side is those compressors are rather heavy.


        • #5
          I re-read your first post and see you already have a compressor. Just make sure the belt idler or tensioner is situated so that you have as much belt contacting the pulleys as possible. You will need a second crankshaft pulley though.